Building Killer Calves

Calves seem to be the most overlooked body part of the lower body. Since the upper body plays such an important part in self-image, often those on a tight schedule focus on it, leave the legs to last, and sometimes just run out of time without the leg workout ever being completed.

The truth is, calves must work hard to stabilize the body through every movement while bearing the total weight of the body plus any additional loads – twisting, raising you up onto your toes, lowering you onto your heels and flexing your feet - so it’s very important to strengthen your calves to cope with every movement or you risk serious injury.

The calf muscle is in a group of large muscles that are balled in the upper portion of the lower leg just below the knee. This is made up of 2 muscles that combine to constitute the whole of the calf muscle:

Gastrocnemius – The calf muscle that is most visible from the exterior of the body. This muscle attaches at the Achilles tendon and originates just behind the knee on the femur where it crosses the knee joint.

Soleus – This is a deep muscle that lies beneath the gastrocnemius on the rear portion of the lower leg.

You can easily give the calves a good workout even if you are at home. Place the balls of your feet on any suitable flat object such as a short piece of 2” x 6” leaving the rest of your foot off.  Rise onto your toes as slowly and as high as you can. Count to three slowly then lower your heels as far as you can go. Do ten or twelve reps and add a second set as you get stronger. If you find you lose your balance easily, hold onto a chair or wall for stability.

For assistance and expert advice ask a Metro Fitness Certified Personal Trainer at either our Syracuse or Fayetteville locations. 


“Don’t be afraid to give your best at what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”  ~ Dale Carnegie



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